What are the most common car accident injuries? An injury lawyer explains

Car accident injuries are a serious matter. In 2020, nearly 5 million people were injured in car accidents in the United States. The picture was similar in Alabama where roughly 38,000 car accident injuries were reported in the same year. These injuries cost accident victims thousands of dollars.

Because there are millions of accidents each year, there are also millions of accident injuries. While each injury is different, whether it’s a minor wreck or a serious trucking accident, certain injuries tend to occur more often than others. Here are some of the most common car accident injuries.

Which parts of the body are most likely to be injured in a car accident?

Before we can consider which are the most common car accident injuries, we should look at which parts of the body are most likely to be injured in a car crash. One group of researchers looked at nearly 250 car accident studies from North America, Australia, Asia, and Brazil to discover which body parts are most likely to be injured in car accidents. They found that the body parts most likely to be involved in car crashes were

  • The arms and legs,
  • The head and neck, and
  • (tied) the thorax, the skin, and the face.

The study also found that the body parts most likely to suffer a serious injury were the head and neck.

What are the most common car accident injuries?

Now that we know the body parts most likely to be injured, we can look at which injuries most often affect those regions. If you think you have suffered any of these injuries, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

Arms and legs. The most commonly reported injuries to the arms and legs include muscle strains and broken bones. There can also be dislocated elbows or ruptured knees.

Head and neck. Even minor head or neck injuries are a big deal. Some of the most common head injuries include:

  • Headaches,
  • Spinal torsion (twisting of the spine), 
  • Skull fractures,
  • Spinal dislocation,
  • Brain bruising, and  
  • Brain bleeding.

Whiplash (also known as cervical acceleration) is also frequently seen by Alabama personal injury lawyers. Traumatic brain injuries (like concussions) are also fairly common.  

Thorax. The thorax is the region from the neck to the abdomen. (The abdomen begins below the diaphragm.) This important area includes vital organs like the heart and lungs. The most common car accident injuries to this part of the body include broken ribs, bruised lungs, and air in the lungs (hemopneumothorax). Of course, broken ribs can also lead to punctured lungs.

The skin. The most common car accident injuries to the skin include lacerations (cuts), bruises (contusions), and abrasions (scrapes). These scrapes and cuts are usually minor but can sometimes require extensive medical treatment.

The face. Common facial injuries caused by car accidents include:

Broken noses,

Broken teeth,

Broken cheek- and jawbones, and

Cuts on the cornea (covering of the eye).

Can a car accident cause emotional injuries?

Absolutely. While the statistics above focus on injuries to the body, car accidents can also cause emotional injuries such as anxiety, depression, and even posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Experts now believe that even minor car accidents can cause mental anguish. Signs of emotional injuries can include:

  • Trouble sleeping,
  • Loss of desire to participate in favorite activities,
  • Nightmares,  
  • Flashbacks, and
  • Fear or driving.

If you suffer mental and emotional injuries after a car accident, you should see a Birmingham personal injury attorney immediately.  

Which factors affect the severity of a car accident injury?

Of course, many factors can affect the severity of a car accident injury. Here are some of the conditions that might change the nature of an injury.

The type of accident. Head-on collisions nearly always cause more severe injuries than other types.

Being in a car. People injured in pedestrian accidents and motorcycle accidents are usually hurt more seriously than people riding in passenger vehicles.

Difference in vehicle size. When a smaller vehicle gets into an accident with a larger one (like a semi-truck), the people in the smaller vehicle generally receive worse injuries.

Speed. As a rule, car crashes that happen at high speeds cause serious injuries.

Seat belts. A seat belt not only reduces the risk of fatalities but also lowers the risk of severe injury.

These and other factors can make the difference between a minor injury and a critical one.

Is it important to see a doctor after a car accident?

If you are in a motor vehicle accident, you should seek medical treatment immediately. There are two reasons why.

First, some injuries – like cuts or scapes – will be obvious right after the accident. Others, like whiplash, bruises, and even some bone fractures, might not appear for days or weeks after the accident. If you assume that you don’t need a doctor, you might be wrong.

Second, while waiting to see a doctor might not seem like a big deal, it can hurt your legal claim. If you wait, the other driver’s lawyer might try to argue that your injuries weren’t really that bad. You can keep them from making this argument by seeing a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. (You should talk to an Alabama accident lawyer, too.)

Have you been injured in a car accident?

Hopefully, knowing about the most common car accident injuries will help you or your loved ones know what to look for in the unfortunate event of an accident. If you’ve already been injured in a car crash, contact Collins Law, LLC. The firm’s founder, April H. Collins, is a Birmingham personal injury lawyer who receives praise from her clients for her compassion and her ability to get results. If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle crash, trucking accident, or any other type of collision, we can help. To schedule a free consultation, call 205-588-1411 or use the Collins Law online scheduler.